, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 17 – Kenya Power says it has taken measurers to address numerous supply interruptions due the ongoing heavy rains.
Kenya Power Managing Director Joseph Njoroge said response teams have been increased to reduce the amount of time taken to restore power especially in the affected areas.
The MD admitted that the firm has been overwhelmed and forced to outsource contractors to complement in attending the arising cases.
“I want to apologise to Kenyans because we have obviously subjected them to very prolonged outages and very frequently because of very many challenges. We are doing everything possible, to completely restore supply in the meantime,” Njoroge said at a press briefing on Wednesday.
He said Kenya Power plans to beef up its national call centre to efficiently receive complaints and dispatch to the field teams to address the power outages in time.
An exercise to replace of wooden poles with concrete ones has also kicked off to avoid them falling down often due to floods and strong winds.
“This time I think the rains were a little bit more hostile and that in itself has had quite some impact,” he lamented “yes we are a service industry but we are doing our best we can.”
The firm has attributed the high number of power interruptions to lightning strikes on the overhead network destroying transformers, lightning surge diverters and underground cables, strong winds twisting conductors, motor accidents on slippery roads knocking down electricity poles among other incidents.
“A hailstorm through Nairobi on April 5 afternoon uprooted trees, ripped billboards, twisted conductors, flooded and blew equipment at Juja substations causing massive power interruption across Nairobi,” Njoroge explained.
He said power interruptions during the rainy season may not end any time soon adding that over Sh20 billion is required every year to put in protective measures.
Kenya Power plans to reduce response time after power interruption from the current seven and half hours to two and a half hours in the next one year.
Meanwhile Njoroge has denied claims of any tariff increase adding that they had no mandate to do that.
In February this year the company lodged an updated application to the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to have electricity tariffs reviewed every three years.
“The monthly variations of fuel cost and forex charges are a function of quantity and cost of the fuel used by thermal power generations and exchange rate for foreign currencies against the Kenya shilling respectively and these do not constitute a review of electricity tariffs,” he clarified.